Planning and preparing food for the week ahead is an important aspect to maintaining your goals for a healthy diet. Having healthy foods available makes it easier to avoid poor food choices.
Eggs are an affordable, nutrient-rich food. They contain the highest quality source of protein as well as nearly every essential vitamin and mineral. They also contain nonessential nutrients like choline, which is essential for normal brain development and memory, and lutein and zeaxanthin, two anti-oxidants from the carotenoid family, that contribute to eye health by protecting eyes from ultraviolet rays, reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration, and decreasing risk of developing cataracts.
Since the 1960s it was assumed that cholesterol in the diet was the primary cause of high LDL cholesterol. Since the yolk in eggs has about 200 mg of cholesterol, eggs got a bad rap. However, the more we research and understand the problem of high cholesterol, we find it is more related to over consumption in general, and especially over consumption of trans and saturated fats.
Remember, too, that cholesterol is a vital substance that every cell in our body needs in adequate amounts. One large egg contains 190 mg of cholesterol. A smaller egg will provide even less. One large egg contains only 5.0 grams of fat of which 1.5 grams are saturated fat. This means that eggs can easily fit into a reduced-fat diet if recommended by your physician.
Another recent finding was how we cook our food is as important as what food we choose. Grilled, charbroiled, fried, or other high heat cooking methods oxidize fats and cholesterol, making them both much more dangerous to the body.
So, get ready for the week ahead. Boil a half dozen eggs today; they make a great “grab and go” meal or snack.
Two eggs on a large mixed green salad with a whole grain roll and a piece of fresh fruit makes a balanced and nutritious meal. One egg paired with a piece of fresh fruit or a few crackers makes a balanced and nutritious snack.
A quick and easy, energy efficient way to boil eggs:
- Put 4-6 fresh eggs in a sauce pan.
- Add water to just cover all the eggs.
- Cover the pan and place on the stove.
- Turn burner to high until water begins to boil.
- Once the water boils, turn the burner off immediately.
- Keeping the pan covered, take the pan off the burner.
- Set the timer for 12 minutes.
- After 12 minutes, rinse the eggs in cool water until eggs are cool.
- Refrigerate eggs until ready to use.